Steve Cansdell.
Steve Cansdell.

Cansdell case at standstill

ALMOST 12 months after disgraced former Clarence MP Steve Cansdell walked into Grafton police station with documents proving he falsified a statutory declaration, he is yet to be charged.

On the morning of September 16, Mr Cansdell walked into the station with documentary evidence former staffer Kath Palmer signed a statutory declaration claiming she was driving his car when he was caught speeding by the Woodburn speed camera. As a result, Mr Cansdell would have lost his licence through accumulated demerit points in the lead up to the 2006 state election.

The electorate of Clarence that Mr Cansdell formerly represented stretches from Grafton, north to Casino and east to Evans Head.

On September 16, the former Parliamentary Secretary to Police Minister Michael Gallacher admitted his mistake, claiming at the time he hadn't understood the gravity of the situation.

"I made a dumb choice six years ago and just didn't realise the consequences," he said.

After months of investigation the NSW Police prosecution referred Mr Cansdell's matter to the Commonwealth DPP on March 8.

At the time NSW Attorney General Greg Smith said as Mr Cansdell had signed a Commonwealth statutory declaration on the back of the speeding fine, he could not be prosecuted by the state.

Investigations by the Northern Star revealed fines issued by the NSW State Debt Recovery Office had always been printed with NSW statutory declarations on the back. Mr Cansdell lost his licence in 2009 after he was caught doing 100kmh in an 80kmh zone at Clarenza.

A Commonwealth DPP representative said "the CDPP has no comment".

Acting NSW Opposition leader Linda Burney said it was unbelievable Mr Cansdell was yet to be charged.

"Nearly one year after Steve Cansdell admitted to the criminal offence of signing a false statutory declaration, it defies belief that he is still yet to face charges," she said.



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